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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2011
I feel a bit intimated by this book. 20 hours a week self-study, regular stern programming exercises, rigorous test driven development. Do more, do better, do it now.

No-one can doubt that esteemed author Uncle Bob Martin does all this and more. But what about programming mortals? Should we aspire to join the programming Gods and follow the advice of this book or should we just run away and hide underneath a faded Metallica T-shirt?

The book is well written, engaging and food for thought. It's its hectoring quality I object to. Besides, if you want to know how to write better software read Rapid Development by Steve McConnell. Genuinely helpfully advice not just relentless polemic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2012
Uncle Bob Martin's eagerly awaited sequel to Clean Code, cleverly named The Clean Coder, is a powerful argument for professionalism in software development. People who'll benefit from this book the most are programmers at the start of their careers or those who are burned out and work with software and companies plagued by technical and organisational issues. The book has a lot of sound advice to offer, in particular around commitment, planning and estimation, personal ethics and collaboration, as well as an overview of techniques such as TDD, pair programming, and automated acceptance testing.

The gist of the book is, for me, captured in the following quotes:

- "You can't take pride and honor in something that you can't be held accountable for"
- "QA should find nothing"
- "The true professional knows that delivering function at the expense of structure is a fool's errand."
- "Woe to the software developer who entrusts his career to his employer."
- "Professionals speak truth to power. Professionals have the courage to say no to their managers."

Those who don't suffer that much from poor team or software will not benefit that much from The Clean Coder, but there are a few gems in for them as well. I found the argument against flow (or "The Zone") particularly interesting, as I've never looked at the topic in the way described in the book. References to probability based estimation were also interesting, as well as explanations of some more exotic time management strategies. Most importantly, through many interesting war stories, we as readers get to peek into Uncle Bob's experience and learn from his mistakes.

If I was picky and had to choose a few negative things to say, I'd probably point out the start of the book as unnecessarily off-putting and negative. It paints a picture with a clear adversarial relationship between programmers and management or clients, which doesn't really match my background or current situation. Sure there have been a few bad apples in my project basket, but the picture painted was a bit too negative for my taste. On the other hand, people who need to hear the message of this book will probably identify with that dark painting of their reality. I've also never been good at reading books with lots of invented dialogue, something in my reading circuits makes me skip invented conversations. This made it hard to follow the flow of thoughts in some parts of the book but it has more to do with my attention deficit and reading skills than the book itself.

So to conclude, this book is not going to replace the The Pragmatic Programmer as my favourite "you have to read this first" suggestion to new members of our profession, but it deserves to be on that list.
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on 11 July 2015
A very good book that every and I mean EVERY software developer (and not only because the book is more about professionalism than coding) must read. If you are just getting started in the field and have a lot going on, put everything else on pause, read the book then go on. If it did not change anything in your attitude towards work then good for you (you are already behaving like a professional or are to ignorant to care for the job you are doing. In case of the latter you should be slapped until you wake up to reality, nobody keeps a careless person around regardless of their skill, attitude is above skill. You need both, but attitude can compensate for skill while skill will not compensate for attitude).

If you have thoughts about how a software developer should behave, what are the responsibilities of an organization towards their developer employees and the responsibilities of an employee towards his/hers employer and the work he/she is doing in a field so dynamic then read this book. It will shed some light on the path, confirm (or infirm) assumptions about how developers should do their job.

Do not think this book will tell you how to write better code, it will but it is besides its focus (you have Clean Code for that). This book is all about attitude. It is about how we do what we do as developers and I do not mean how we write code, I mean how we communicate with our team, how we tell the management that the forced deadline cannot be met. Why and how we should do estimates. Last but not least understanding how a reply to a request is understood (e.g.: "I'll try to get it done by Monday" means that you will do your best to get the task done by that deadline, in other words it is mostly interpreted as "I'll get it done by Monday even if it costs me a few extra work hours and the weekend" otherwise it will be considered as you did not try hard enough). The management will try to pull every squeeze everything they can out of their developers (they probably will not go as far as blackmailing them but you can expect some sort of manipulation attempts) by asking to meet unreasonable deadlines (not always, but it happens often enough) and it is the job of the developer to tell the management that the respective deadline cannot be meet, developers must know how much work then can do and offer proper estimates (even though sometimes they are off, but they are estimates after all).

I'm not giving this book 5 stars because it is somewhat repetitive and I would of liked more detail. Collaborating with QA, managers, fellow developers. How does Agile blend into all this. I would of liked more detail on forming teams (gelled teams are best, cool. How do we get there? If a team does not have a project to work on then why should that team exist? How is a gelled team forged? It needs to go though soft and hard times to properly form itself).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2013
This is the first book that I've ever read by "Uncle Bob" Martin, and I wish I hadn't waited so long to pick one up. I've been an IT professional—or so I thought—for more than twenty-three years, but I learned from this book what it means to be a professional. Martin wraps forty years of programming experience into an easy-to-read, thought-provoking book. He covers such topics as professionalism, saying no, saying yes, practicing, mentoring, apprenticeship, and craftsmanship.
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on 30 October 2012
My first book in the track of professionalism was "The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master", I was recommended the book from an seasoned colleague who I regarded highly. I got the book, and devoured it in a couple o f days. The thing I remember while reading it - was that so much in it made so much sense! It all felt natural, every part of it struck home.

This book - is no different. Equally funny as thoughtful; the style is anecdotal but challenging. Given the few chances you get to receive such wisdom and depth from a true master, this is a must for anyone aspiring to become a true craftsman. I learnt a lot from this book - not only that you must not forget how others perceive you as a professional, but also that a true professional knows when to say no. This is one of the subjects I would say the book has a leaning emphasis on; how a professional ought to behave and act in hard times.

No chapter is boring as it is opened with a good story from the life of Robert C. Martin himself, as well as disclosing his past weaknesses for everyone to see - and rightfully so. We must never forget that the journey starts with a step, and lasts until the end of our life.

If you want a book filled to the brim with Wisdom and Laughs. This is the one.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2011
There are some gems in this book, but stories from the authors life takes up too much space. And some of the really important things like testing is covered in very few pages. Also the "programming" chapter the author spends time ranting over things that does not work for him, but at the same time acknowledges that it is likely to be a highly personal thing. It seems like there is a lot of stuff thats just in the book to make a given page count..

All in all its an interesting read, but I don't think its a 5 star book.
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on 13 August 2012
This book challenges the coder to become a professional practitioner. Many coders behave like tradesmen rather than professionals and therefore get treated that way. The clean coder behaves like any other professional and expects to be treated that way. So what does it mean to behave like a professional. Its hard work but it also sets you apart. Bob challenges us to work hard to keep sharp. To understand all aspects of the profession and not just the bits we like. He also helps us with how to deal with pressure. All in all this is a great book which you may find challenging in behaviour terms.

Bob also pays me a complement in the preface, Thanks Bob
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on 10 November 2014
Overall I enjoyed reading this book and it was useful inspiration and thought provoking material. Some of the advice like spending hours every week practising new languages and such like felt a little over the top, but there were some important lessons and concepts which every programmer should be aware of to maximise success and value. Bob's writing style was good, the book was well edited, and it was easy to read. I'm glad I read this book and recommend it to software developers who have not heard of TDD or 'software craftsmanship'. I also liked the removable cardboard 'overview' poster summarising all of the best practices discussed in the book.
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on 5 January 2014
When I bought this book I thought I was purchasing something that would help me clean my code, should probably read the intros!

Despite there not being a line of code in the book I'm really pleased I got it and can honestly say it's changed the way I think at work.

I've realised how unprofessional I have been at times and the book has actively changed that.

Following on from reading this I've gone back and bought "Uncle Bobs" Clean Code and Agile practices books.

If you are serious about being a professional software developer this is well worth a read.
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on 17 October 2015
Having programmed for 15 years now, it is nice to get some reminder and fresh ideas into what been a professional developer means. It is not because everyone around you is doing it wrong that you should give up and cut corners. Been professional is all about your behavior, code of conducts, you need to put the effort on a daily basis. Thank you uncle Bob for this.

This is quite an easy and pleasant read, I read it in a day.
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